Dense and chewy but also richly fruity, Brown Butter Cherry Blondies are an over-the-top dessert perfect for a summer party. Brown butter and maple syrup give this blondie recipe some serious caramel flavors.
Candied cherries, sweet and syrupy, are a perfect match for these brown sugar-laden dessert bars. If you are looking for an easy to eat dessert, these gooey blondies will fit the bill.
What is a blondie?
Think brownies, without the chocolate. Blondies have a similar texture if you prefer a chewy brownie. And just like brownies, in which you can add a few mix-ins like chocolate chips, candy bars, or nuts, blondies can be made with many different ingredients.
Brown Butter is a huge flavor booster!
Brown butter changes the flavor profile of any recipe. It adds caramel and nutty flavors which makes this blondie recipe so rich and decadent.
The key to making brown butter is to know when to stop cooking. Look for visual cues such as brown bits on the bottom of the pan, the caramel color of the butter, the nutty scent, and the foam that forms on top. Make sure to remove the butter from the pan into a small bowl. If the butter remains in the pan, it will continue to cook, leading to an acrid, dark brown (burnt) liquid.
Let the butter cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
Are blondies supposed to be chewy?
Most people prefer chewy blondies. The texture is determined by the amount of brown sugar and the length of cooling time. If you prefer a cakier blondie, baking them a few minutes longer will dry the batter further.
What makes a blondie chewy?
Brown sugar adds moisture to the batter. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning that it attracts and bonds with water. The molasses in brown sugar also adds moistness to the blondies. And definitely the addition of maple syrup contributes to the texture of the blondie.
There is that sweet spot during the summer - cherries are available and they are on sale.
Here is a great recipe for candied cherries - https://tenpoundcakecompany.com/candied-bourbon-cherries.
Syrupy and with a rich sweetness, these candied cherries are a great match for the brown butter and brown sugar of this blondie recipe. You will have extra candied cherries. Use them for drinks, dessert toppings, or on a charcuterie board with salty cheeses.
Candied Cherry Ingredients
- fresh sweet cherries (pitted)
- orange juice and peel
- granulated sugar
- vanilla bean ( You can use extract but the bean provides the seeds which add a concentrated vanilla flavor.)
- star anise
How to make
The peppercorns and the star anise are placed in a square of cheesecloth and tied with a string to make a sachet. All ingredients and the sachet are placed in a pan and brought to a boil over medium-high heat. It takes about 30 minutes to cook the cherries. The sauce will start to get thick and the cherries will have collapsed. Let them cool for 30 minutes. The syrup will continue to thicken, especially when refrigerated.
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- light brown sugar
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
How to make blondies
The first step to making the blondies is to prepare the brown butter as stated above. This gives the butter a few minutes to cool while you prepare the pan and the ingredients.
- To prepare the 8 x 8 pan, use two pieces of parchment paper and cut to the size of the pan. Criss-cross the paper to form a sling. This will make removing the baked blondies a lot easier.
- Combine the dry ingredients - all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt - in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, stir the ingredients to combine everything and remove any lumps in the flour.
- Combine the wet ingredients. First, add the egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk everything together. Add the cooled brown butter and thoroughly mix it into the batter. You should have a shiny and slightly thick batter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking until you have a fully incorporated batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It helps to have a small offset spatula to spread the batter into the corners.
- Place the cherries around the surface of the batter. Make sure you don't add touch much cherry liquid to the pan. As the blondies bake, the batter will rise and encase the cherries.
Can blondies be undercooked?
The short answer is yes. There is a fine line between chewy and undercooked. Chewy blondies will still have some structure to the bar. When cut, you should see the crumb of the bar. Undercooked batter is too gooey. It will still have the same texture as the batter when it was poured into the pan.
How to check the doneness of a blondie
Try the toothpick method of cake testing. When a toothpick is inserted in the middle of the pan and then removed you should see a few crumbs sticking to the pick. If you see gooey batter, then the blondie needs to bake further.
The brown butter cherry blondies take about 30 minutes to back. Start checking after 25 minutes. Factors that can affect cooking are -
- Every oven is different.
- Different pans require a different baking time.
The edges of the blondies will be set. The center should be dry on the top but the center will not feel set. There will be carry-over cooking - the blondies will continue to "cook" as they cool off. Sprinkle crunchy salt on top.
- The recipe for the candied cherries suggests adding bourbon. Please omit if you prefer no alcohol.
- If you making the cherries, you can make them ahead of time and let them chill.
- If you do not want to make candied cherries, use fruit preserves. Just add dollops of preserves around the surface of the batter. The brown butter will pair with many flavors such as apricot, grape, or black berry.
- Cut the blondies into smaller squares for a larger party.
- If you want a cakier version, bake the blondies for an additional 3-5 minutes.
The Brown Butter Cherry Blondies recipe is worth the steps of making the cherries and making the browned butter (which I believe is a good recipe to have in your arsenal.) I like to add a garnish of candied cherries on top of the blondie.
Dense and chewy, sweet and salty, and rich with caramel notes. A from-scratch recipe, brown butter blondies with fresh cherries scream summer. This is a baking project worth your time. There is something for everyone here!
Another cherry dessert recipe - https://tenpoundcakecompany.com/no-churn-cherry-ice-cream/
Brown Butter Cherry Blondies
- 1 8 x 8 pan
- parchment paper
- 2 medium-sized bowls
- 1 whisk
- 1 offset spatula
- 1 small saucepan
- 4 x 4 inch square of cheesecloth
- 4 cups fresh cherries (1½ pounds, 678 grams)
- 5 strips orange peel
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar (3.7 ounces/106 grams)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 peppercorns
- 2 star anise
Brown Butter Blondies
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces/112 grams)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (4.7 ounces/133 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the sachet
- Add the star anise and peppercorns to a 4x4 inch piece of cheesecloth. Making sure there aren't any holes the spices can fall out, fold the cheesecloth and twist it into a satchel. With a piece of string, secure and tie the cheesecloth shut.
- Remove the stems and pits from the cherries.
- Place the cherries, orange peel, orange juice, and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Split the vanilla bean and remove the seeds. Place the seeds in the saucepan.
- Nestle the sachet in the cherries in the pan.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the juices have thickened and are syrupy. Let cool.
Brown Butter Blondies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brown 8 tablespoons of butter. Add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Let the butter melt and start to bubble. As the butter cooks, the milk solids will start to turn brown.
- When the butter is a golden brown and there is a layer of small-bubbled foam, it is time to remove the butter from the pan. This takes less than 5 minutes. Pour it into a small bowl, scraping the bottom to release the brown bits. If you leave the butter in the pan, it will continue to brown until it is burned. Let the butter cool as you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit the 8x8 pan. Criss-cross the paper to create a sling for the blondies. This will make removal from the pan after baking easier.
- Combine the dry ingredients - all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt - in a medium bowl. Whisk to remove any lumps.
- Combine the wet ingredients - 1 egg, ¾ cup of light brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add the cooled brown butter. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Whisk together until the batter is completely mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Add 16-18 cherries to the batter. When placing the cherries, nestle them into the batter. As the blondies bake, the batter will rise to encase the cherries.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top of the batter will feel dry but the blondies may wiggle. Let the blondies cool completely before cutting them into 9 squares (2¼ x 2¼ inches).